Morning: More Sources Talking Four-Way Manny Deal

…first off, hat’s off to gotham baseball for popping the cap off this rumor five days ago…way to be ahead of the curve guys…

At the Daily News,
Bill Madden and Anthony McCarron cite multiple baseball sources as
saying the Mets, Red Sox, Orioles and Devil Rays have talked about a
four-way deal sending OF Manny Ramirez and RHP Danys Baez to the Mets, OF Joey Gathright and SS Miguel Tejada to the Sox, SS Julio Lugo, RHP Kris Benson and RHP Matt Clement to the O’s, while the Rays get 3B Andy Marte, SS Kaz Matsui, RHP Jae Seo and RHP Aaron Heilman

In the Star-Ledger, Dan Graziano mentions a similar deal, which he describes as being “vague talks” between the four teams…

Graziano also suggests that O’s RHP Jorge Julio could be added to a deal, working off a trade that was rumored about months ago for Benson…

it’s
just so crazy…i mean, i have seen less complicated trades fall apart in
my fantasy league…yet, it makes some sense for all teams involved

However, in an effort to add a dash of levity, Madden and McCarron also write…

“An executive with one of the teams called the four-team scenario far-fetched.”…

Yesterday, in the New York Post,
Joel Sherman wrote that the Mets and Devil Rays were finalizing a deal
that would add Baez to New York’s bullpen without Ramirez, in
exchange for a package of prospects along with either Seo or Heilman…

According to Madden and McCarron, a Mets source says the team will not part with Heilman in a deal for Baez…

which makes sense, since, at this point, they’re essentially the same pitcher, with heilman making less money

In the Bergen Record, Bob Klapisch quotes a club
official as saying, “We’re not really close to anything right now. We
haven’t talked to [the Devil Rays] since the winter meetings.”…

Devil Rays Spokesmen Rick Vaughn tells Newsday, “It’s
a possibility, but it’s also contingent on a few things that we’re
working on…It could possibly happen, but it also may not.”…

…now that is vague…

In my December 20 Notebook, I wrote…

“Also,
for what it’s worth, the talk from Tampa’s offices is that Baez is very
much against being a set-up man, as he’ll be a free-agent after next
season.  This may be something worth considering when negotiating
a trade, since Baez is not known for being the most level-headed,
cooperative of ball players.”…

Predictably, in the St. Petersburg Times, Baez says, “I
don’t know if I want to be a setup guy…I want to be a closer. But if
they trade me I don’t have a choice. If they want me to be a setup guy,
that’s what I’ll do…What I want is to be a free
agent and then I can control what happens…This way, I don’t have any
choice. But whatever happens, I’ll be ready.”…

Baez,
Manny and Tejada are not the only un-happy players involved in this
deal.  In Newsday, Jim Baumbach writes that Heilman would like to
be traded if he isn’t going to be a starter for the Mets…

“He’s
been polite but persistent,” Baumbach quotes Heilman’s agent, Mark
Rogers, as saying. “He’s enjoyed the Mets, the city and the people, but
he can do the math. He knows right now there’s no room for him.”…

…more
than anything, next season, when heilman hits arbitration, he’ll be
rewarded money as a set-up man as opposed to a starter…and that will
most likely be a huge difference in pay

Ultimately,
Ramirez joining the Mets will depend on what Baltimore does with
Tejada.  The Baltimore Sun believes the O’s plan to set a deadline
for moving Tejada.  According to the Star-Ledger, that date is
today…

However, every team in baseball shuts down their offices through New Years, with most re-opening on Tuesday…

…wow…if
it were only as easy as just writing up a trade proposal, ‘sweetening
the deal’ if necessary, and ‘prying away’ the guys you want from other
rosters…oh well…

…and, by the way, none of these articles mention the name OF Lastings Milledge…which i find very, very interesting…